DVD Review: 'Morning Glory'

Filed under: Movies


Rated ON for Ages 14 and Up

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this workplace comedy -- which co-stars Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, and Diane Keaton -- is formulaic, but it's also surprisingly earnest and full of heart. Though some of the characters are self-centered and surly, the movie ultimately has positive messages about the value of hard work and authenticity. Expect some making out and a few sexual innuendos, a fair bit of swearing (including "f--k"), some drinking and cigar smoking, and disheartening bitterness from some of the more hardened characters.

The good stuff

  • Messages: Hard work and heart win over cynicism in this workplace comedy. The main character believes that you can succeed by applying yourself 100 percent to your job. Nevertheless, work is superseded by friendship, family, and love.
  • Role models: Becky is quite ambitious, but she's also unabashedly earnest and well-meaning, and her goals don't supersede her humanity.

What to watch out for

  • Violence: Characters insult and yell at each other; one man does dangerous things (jumping out of planes).
  • Sex: A couple makes out. They're shown kissing and groping each other, with the woman stripped down to her underwear and blouse. Some sexual innuendo. One character mentions a sex website; he also has a foot fetish.
  • Language: Fairly frequent use of words like "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," "ass," "a--hole," "butt," "damn," "crap," "oh my God," "goddamn," and "hell." Also infrequent use of "f--k."
  • Consumerism: Products/brands mentioned/with logos shown include Sony, NBC, Apple, Barefoot Contessa, Trump, The Today Show, and more.
  • Drinking, drugs, and smoking: One adult character smokes a cigar. He also gets drunk and has a reputation for getting drunk prior to performing tasks he dislikes.
What's the Story?

After being laid off from her job at a middling New Jersey TV show, Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) throws herself into the job search, finally landing a position as a producer for fourth-ranked morning news show "Daybreak." The opportunity kick-starts the can-do attitude that has always fueled her. Sadly, not everyone at the network shares Becky's zeal. Daybreak's ratings are in the Dumpster, and, amazingly, can sink even further. It doesn't help that morale is low, ideas are unoriginal, and veteran co-anchor Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) is frustrated. A brilliant idea to hire iconic newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to join Colleen may be Daybreak's ticket out of the ratings gutter. But Becky's new love interest (Patrick Wilson) says that Mike is the "third-worst person in the world." Can Becky make it work?

Is It Any Good?

It takes a special kind of actress to make a fairly formulaic movie -- which invites comparisons to the now-classic "Broadcast News" but can't possibly outdo it -- surprisingly appealing. And that person is Rachel McAdams. She attacks the role of Becky with such authenticity and emotion that we buy her, predictable banter and all. She gives this otherwise-nearly forgettable film soul and carries her weight against the delightful Keaton (who's underused) and memorable Ford (whose character is underexplored). Even Wilson as the token love interest and Jeff Goldblum as Becky's sarcastic network boss have spark.

Too bad, then, that they're all underserved by a story that captures only the typical talking points of any movie that goes behind the scenes of network TV. (Surely, there must be more material to mine than bickering co-hosts and ratings anxiety.) Nevertheless, "Morning Glory" is entertaining, thanks in part to director Roger Michell's peppy pacing and screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna's engaging dialogue (she also penned "The Devil Wears Prada"). "Morning Glory" is no "Network," no "Broadcast News," but for McAdams, it's further proof of her impressive talent.

This review of "Morning Glory" was written by S. Jhoanna Robledo.

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